Thursday, 28 May 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

The five things that I am thankful for today:

1. The art of bartering. Our regular volunteer had to be gone today so I ran our thrift store. And everyone who comes in wants to barter down the price. I'm thankful that I stuck to my 'guns' and sold the sewing machine for the right price!

2. My husband's ability to give the boys decent haircuts. See:

3. I'm thankful for friends who are willing to invite our family over for a BBQ and a swim in their pool. (We are the only ones in the congregation without a pool, I think) It's always a nice time to be relaxed and just enjoy fellowship.

4. I'm thankful for people who are willing to join our ministry for a little while. On Saturday we have someone from the States coming to stay with us for about 6 weeks and just going to help us with the ministry. No strings...just in need of a place to sleep and eat!

5. I'm thankful that my husband is willing to let me decorate the chapel for Pentecost Sunday. I've decided to hang flames/doves from our ceiling as a visual enhancement to the service!

Monday, 25 May 2009

My Favorite Clothes

This is my most comfortable outfit. Granted, those are definitely not uniform 'appropriate' shoes, but I have to walk a lot...

I realize that this uniform tends to make some people uncomfortable, mainly because of a misunderstanding of what it means. Although, there are parts of the world where there is an instant recognition of purpose and position upon sight. And then there are parts of the world, such as the one I live in now, where this uniform is still virtually unheard of. (But that is changing!)

We are in the habit of wearing our uniforms most every day. It's hot now, so I'm thankful we've switched to 'summer uniform' (sans nylons). It does make for a conspicuous walk around our little town. There are the passing comments "Maybe they're sailors?" or "Perhaps they're pilots?", but more often than not there are just outright glaring stares. We attract a lot of attention for so little 'effort'.

I have noticed that as of late we've been getting a lot more questions. I LOVE when people ask me what my uniform is for, because they have opened the door for me to tell them exactly what it is for. I get the chance to prove that we're not 'weirdos' or harsh military types. I get a chance to tell them where The Salvation Army is located in town, what we do, etc. I get to build relationships. I have noticed that while I may not know their names, many people greet me on the street...and the only way they know and recognize me from every other foreigner in guessed it.

There are some that say we as an Army should put this 'vintage' and 'military' look away for a more updated and modern look. I am not one of them. If the people around us don't recognize our uniforms or know what they stand's our fault, not the uniforms'. The only way to create and understanding of what those epaulettes mean is by wearing them, not storing them away.

Monday, 18 May 2009

No Such Thing

I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that God works all things together for the good of those who love him...even the little things. Even the things that one would initially think God is too busy to really deal with.


Saturday I arrived at the church to set up for our Spanish service. Only to find that the gate covering the door would not go up, which is the only way to get in the building. Needless to say, I prayed with the regular attenders before sending them home.

My husband and I, on Sunday morning, were able to manually shove the gate up enough to let people in for our English service. After the service we pressed the remote opener and the gate slammed shut. There was nothing more we could do about, being Sunday. So the boys and I spent the afternoon on the beach....suffering for Jesus.

Sorry, back to the story.....

Monday morning, Jeff and I once again shoved the gate up so we could open the thrift store for the day. We were decided to find a "repair" shop to give us an estimate about what needed to be done.

I had considered calling the Baptist church pastor and asking him if there was anyone in his congregation that fixed these gates that he could recommend to me. I wanted to find someone relatively trustworthy, because honestly I have never dealt with gates prior to being in Spain. I also had recently noticed some large signs pointing out various businesses as the "best businesses in Denia" and a repair shop had one of those signs just around the corner from our church building. So we decided to start there.

We walked in, explained our problem, and explained where the broken gate was located. The shop owner said "Oh, we're Christians too. We go to the Baptist church." Which led us into a conversation about how nice it would be for the evangelical community to do more things together, and she mentioned that just yesterday her church had prayed for the other churches in our city including The Salvation Army.

Her husband came the same evening and has completely sorted our gate issue out, even demonstrating to me what to do in the case of problems in the future. I am convinced that God led me there. That the shop was our intended destination.

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Sunday, 17 May 2009


This is how we spend one to two afternoons a week. As long as it's not raining, you might be able to find us slowly morphing into beach bums. Ask Jonas if he wants to go to the beach, and he'll undoubtedly say "Si!"

I create these little sand crabs for the boys to spend the next few seconds mashing into the ground. I will admit it can be very therapeutic play...

It has definitely warmed up on the Costa Blanca!

Here's a quick update on life in Spain:

* We painted our chapel. It was in a desperate need of a "pick me up" and God has really blessed this congregation with several retired professional carpenters and painters. It looks great!

* We revamped our thrift store. The store is one of the main sources of income for our church. So we cleaned it up, rearranged, got rid of trash, and have had an increase in sales! (Now, let's hope it holds out and is not just temporary.)

* We recently participated in an church wide prayer event, hosted by a local Baptist church. It was the first time that many of these evangelical groups have gotten together for anything, and still many 'refused' to attend. It was a great event, and we're really excited about what God will do through a united evangelical community.

*I've signed the boys us for the summer program at the same Baptist church for the month of July. (Everything is closed in August) The selling point of many summer programs are the fact that English will be taught throughout the summer, but they wanted to warn me at the church it would be "American" English because they have groups from the States that help out during the summer. I simply smiled, and said "Well, we speak American so it shouldn't be a problem for the boys."

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Today, I am thankful for...

1. the fact that we live in walking distance of the beach, and the warm weather means we can take advantage of it.

2. new plants! I got a free plant from a local nursery. We were the first Americans to ever shop there. Apparently it's a fuschia, and I will do my absolute best to not kill it...

3. finding pickles at the grocery store today.

4. spring clothes. It's time to wear capris again!!!

5. the return of the fruit market. Last weekend was Labor Day in Spain, so there was no's cherry season, and I need my fix.